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University Carillon

The FIVE

VESSEL

EPIC—Youth Ministry

Holy Week Devotional: Silent Saturday

April 11, 2020

So yesterday Jesus was killed; tomorrow He rises again (spoiler alert). Those are both pretty notable events, but what about today?

The Saturday of Holy Week has often been called “Silent Saturday.” There is very little mentioned in the Scriptures about today – the guards secured the tomb, and the women who went to the cross with Jesus rested because it was the Sabbath – but as far as we know from Scripture, God doesn’t say anything. Which is interesting. Knowing what we know about Sunday, Saturday would be the day we would expect God to speak, to say something to comfort His people…to say anything.

But we don’t get that. Instead, we get silence. Why didn’t He rescue them from their despair by giving them the end of the story?

I remember one time giving a presentation, and after presenting everything I had prepared for one of the slides, I ran out of information to talk about before the next slide came. The transition from one slide to the next was timed, so there was a solid 10 seconds of silence as I waited for the next slide to come. 10 seconds had never felt so long. It’s amazing how loud the silence is when there’s nothing to fill it.

I wonder if that is at all reflective of what people were experiencing today, back then. For us, the sting of the silence is softened by our knowledge of what happens Sunday. But they didn’t know He would rise.

The one they thought would save them now lays quiet, still, motionless. Dead.

What do we do with a God who is silent when we want to hear Him most?

Most of us would jump to the conclusion that He just isn’t there. It’s funny how, with God, we equate His silence to His absence. But oftentimes in conversation, silence is just the sign of a good listener.

I’m willing to bet each of us have had our own Silent Saturdays; maybe they’ve been silent weeks, months, or years. But what I want to suggest to you today is this: maybe God’s silence is not a sign of His absence. Maybe His silence is actually an invitation to speak.

Today, may you seek out the silence we so often avoid. May you find and speak to God in it, mirroring the invitation of Psalm 62:8: “Trust in Him at all times, O people; our out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.” And may you pour out your heart to a God who listens, and come Sunday, will speak a powerful declaration of hope, love, and victory.

Song to reflect on: Time by John Lucas

 

 

 

April 10: First Look (Contemporary & Traditional)

We’re here to give you a first look into the Easter weekend here at University Carillon. Take some time to prepare and pray through God’s Word which is alive and well!

This weekend’s scripture is from Matthew 28 (NLT). You can find that here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+28%3A1-10&version=NLT

You can watch our Easter services on our website at UCUMC.net/LIVE or Facebook LIVE.

Saturday, April 11
5 PM—Family Service

Sunday, April 12
7 AM—Sunrise
9 AM—Traditional
10:15—Contemporary
11:40—Vessel

Holy Week Devotional: Good Friday

April 10, 2020

The Friday of Holy Week is often referred to as Good Friday. It is the day in which Jesus is beaten, crucified and killed. Honestly, I’m not sure when or why or how we came to refer to this day as “good.” I also know our tendency is to jump quickly from cross to resurrection, but let us suspend the rest of the story for a moment and reflect upon the sacrifice of Christ.

Jesus speaks a series of seven statements from the cross. One such word that has resonated with me is in John 19:28. Here Jesus says: “I am thirsty.”

Jesus thirsted. The Living Water was parched. The Spring of Life was dry. The One who fills our cups to overflow became empty. After Jesus expresses His need, in jest, sour wine is offered Him. The One whose ministry began by transforming water into the most delicious wine ever is ended with a sip of the worst wine imaginable. And just as the headmaster at Cana had no idea what Jesus did then, humanity had no idea what they were doing now.

The resonance I find in Jesus’ words is in their simplicity. I am thirsty.

Jesus owned his thirst. He owned his need, His lack, His want. He offered no pretense of strength. He owned his thirst. He claimed it. I am thirsty.

Have you owned your thirst? Have you owned your need for God, for hope, for love, for forgiveness, for help?

Jesus became thirsty so that your cup could overflow. He thirsted so our thirst could be quenched.

So may you own your thirst today – may you own your need, your lack, your dependency, weakness and want.

May you claim your thirst for Christ this day and as you do, may you find your cup overflowing with Living Water.

Song for further reflection: “It is Finished” by Red Mountain Church

For conversation or prayerful meditation:
– In what ways do you feel you cannot own or claim your “thirst”?
– Imagine your life fully claiming your thirst, lack, need, want for God. What might be different?
– Read and reflect upon John 2:1-11 and as you do, consider how Jesus’ first miracle was already anticipating Jesus’ work on the cross.

 

KIDS Holy Week — Thursday

April 9, 2020

Today’s family activity: baking bread! Try the recipe in the Holy Week packet and bake bread together. Want to share it with us? (We would sure like to see it). Post your photos on our Facebook page: Kids Ministry at University Carillon.

Check out our Kids Ministry Holy Week “subscription boxes”—virtual “boxes” that you can participate in throughout the week! We’d love to see what you’re doing while you explore the packet! You can tag us, or post on our Kids Ministry Facebook page!

K & YOUNGER

For the littles, we’ve got some fun activity sheets you can print out and explore! There’s one page for each day, with games and coloring pages!

1ST–5TH GRADE

We’ve put together a Guide to Holy Week…with the kids in mind! You can download this packet that has scriptures, interactive activities, questions to think about and more!

VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB

If your kid would be interested in joining a virtual “book club,” email FeliciaColeman@ucumc.net.

SUBSCRIBE – KIDS Ministry Email List

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*If you previously signed up  for KIDS MINISTRY  emails and are not receiving them, please CHECK YOUR SPAM and then send your email address to web@ucumc.net so we can try to resolve the issue.

Holy Week Devotional: Thursday

April 9, 2020

Before Jesus is arrested on Thursday, He decided to spend some of his last moments talking with his disciples, feasting with them and…washing their feet. Their mud-caked, dirt-stained, foul-smelling feet, feet that had never experienced the beauty of tennis shoes and that walked on unpaved, dusty roads for hours a day. Washing someone’s feet in ancient culture was considered a sign of hospitality toward the guest, typically done by a servant, but for the host to kneel and wash them? It was a shocking sign of humility. It didn’t make sense.

When it’s Peter’s turn, he is shocked too and protests: Jesus, washing my feet? Jesus, the one of whom John spoke (in John 1) when he said, “I’m not even worthy to bend down to untie His sandals” – this Jesus is kneeling down to wash my mud-caked, dirt-stained, foul-smelling feet? Doesn’t he know where these feet have been?

Yet more and more, I’m convinced that Jesus’ reply is meant for not just Peter in this moment, but for us every day: “You don’t realize now what I’m doing, but later, you’ll understand.”

See, if we wanted, we could take 5 minutes, get a few chapters ahead, and read about that “later” Jesus talks about. But Peter couldn’t do that. And if you’re anything like me, I can resonate with Peter’s confusion in the moment. There are times when I have no idea what God is doing or why He’s doing it. There are times it seems like God isn’t doing anything. There are times where it seems that He is asking us to love or serve our friends, family, strangers, by doing something strange or bold – as strange and bold as the leader of the group washing his disciples’ feet. In the moment, what God is doing doesn’t always make sense.

Not understanding the “now” often makes it difficult to trust that the “later” is still in His good hands, but the truth is, we can’t always understand the now until later. And in the meantime, we can be confident that whatever God is doing, it is, as John 13 says at the beginning of this story, “to show us the full extent of His love.” We can rejoice, even on Thursday, that our Savior is sovereign in any and all of the unknown.

Song for reflection: Psalm 51 by Jon Foreman

Encouragement to act: The way Jesus loved his disciples, by washing their feet, was a radical, beautiful, counter-cultural way of serving them. Think about ways you can intentionally serve and love the people in your sphere of influence today.

 

 

KIDS Holy Week — Wednesday

April 8, 2020

Today’s family activity: sidewalk chalk! Go outside to your front sidewalk or driveway and find a place to write encouraging messages to your neighbor’s. You can say things like, “Jesus loves you” or “We are all in this together”. Add a few drawings to brighten someone’s day! Want to share it with us? (We would sure like to see it). Post your photos on our Facebook page: Kids Ministry at University Carillon.

Check out our Kids Ministry Holy Week “subscription boxes”—virtual “boxes” that you can participate in throughout the week! We’d love to see what you’re doing while you explore the packet! You can tag us, or post on our Kids Ministry Facebook page!

K & YOUNGER

For the littles, we’ve got some fun activity sheets you can print out and explore! There’s one page for each day, with games and coloring pages!

1ST–5TH GRADE

We’ve put together a Guide to Holy Week…with the kids in mind! You can download this packet that has scriptures, interactive activities, questions to think about and more!

VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB

If your kid would be interested in joining a virtual “book club,” email FeliciaColeman@ucumc.net.

SUBSCRIBE – KIDS Ministry Email List

Powered by Robly

*If you previously signed up  for KIDS MINISTRY  emails and are not receiving them, please CHECK YOUR SPAM and then send your email address to web@ucumc.net so we can try to resolve the issue.

Holy Week Devotional: Silent Wednesday

April 8, 2020

There is no mention of what Jesus did on the Wednesday before His death. Given the intense nature of this week and the extensive attention paid to the other days, why the silence? Perhaps it is a reminder to us that we cannot know everything there is to know or everything we want to know. Maybe it is an indicator that mystery is an important element of faith. I guess there is the possibility that it was such a lazy day that there was nothing worth mentioning. Or maybe, maybe this was a day just to be enjoyed and remembered by friends. After all, some things are for our eyes, hearts, minds and memories alone.

We can speculate all we want but maybe there’s a better option. Maybe we just let Wednesday remain silent. Maybe we leave the blanks blank.

You see, we like miracle-worker Jesus. We like teaching, healing, working, walking, confronting-the-Pharisees Jesus. But silent Jesus, the Jesus who is present yet unnoticed, the Jesus who listens rather than speaks, the Jesus who slips secretly into solitude without warning or word is a Jesus we do not know what to do with.

If you’ve ever been surrounded by silence and felt more frantic than if you were surrounded by chaos, I feel you. It’s what I feel and what I become when I can’t see or hear or feel God. Yet time and again, the silence breaks and God reveals that the silence of God is not the same thing as the absence of God. Take some time today to rest, listen and be still. Resist the temptation to interrupt the silence with noise and may God speak to you today through what you do not hear.

Song for further reflection: “The Lord our God” by Kristian Stanfill

For conversation or prayerful mediation:
– What do you find most unnerving about silence?
– Why might there be times in our lives that require God’s silence?
– Take 10 minutes today and sit in silence. Journal your thoughts for further reflection.

 

KIDS Holy Week — Tuesday

April 8, 2020

Today’s family activity: bottle flipping! Have a bottle flipping competition with your family. It’s not quite table flipping but it could be pretty fun. Use bottles of all shapes and sizes. Want to share it with us? (We would sure like to see it). Post your video on our Facebook page: Kids Ministry at University Carillon.

Check out our Kids Ministry Holy Week “subscription boxes”—virtual “boxes” that you can participate in throughout the week! We’d love to see what you’re doing while you explore the packet! You can tag us, or post on our Kids Ministry Facebook page!

K & YOUNGER

For the littles, we’ve got some fun activity sheets you can print out and explore! There’s one page for each day, with games and coloring pages!

1ST–5TH GRADE

We’ve put together a Guide to Holy Week…with the kids in mind! You can download this packet that has scriptures, interactive activities, questions to think about and more!

VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB

If your kid would be interested in joining a virtual “book club,” email FeliciaColeman@ucumc.net.

SUBSCRIBE – KIDS Ministry Email List

Powered by Robly

*If you previously signed up  for KIDS MINISTRY  emails and are not receiving them, please CHECK YOUR SPAM and then send your email address to web@ucumc.net so we can try to resolve the issue.

Holy Week Devotional: Tuesday

April 7, 2020

If you had to describe the Christians you know or the church today, what are some of the first words that would come to your mind?

Kind. Loving. Hypocritical. Annoying. Narrow-minded. Soft-spoken. Loud. Quiet.

Of all the words that came to your mind, was “powerful” one of them?

On the Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus is confronted about everything he’s been doing; long story short, Jesus’ authority doesn’t sit well with the authorities of the day. This brings us to Matthew 21:23-27, where we see a controversial confrontation between Jesus and the religious leaders. They literally interrupt him while He’s teaching to ask Him, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?”

This is purely speculation, but I think if the religious leaders in Jesus’ day could use one word to describe Him, I think it would be powerful. That’s why they had to get rid of Him: He was a threat to the powers and authorities of that day.

I have to wonder how many people would use the word “powerful” to describe Christians today. But as I look at the way Jesus lived, died, and rose again, I can’t help but think: if we are to be anything as Christians, it should be people of divine power. And as I think about this, I’m continually reminded of Ephesians 1:19-20: the same power raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in you. Yes, you. If a Christian is to be anything, it should be a person of divine power.

You may not feel powerful. You may feel weak and powerless. But Ephesians 1:19-20 still stands true, regardless of how you feel: the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is alive inside your chest.

Today, take some time to reflect on the power and authority with which Jesus lived, died, and rose again. Do our lives reflect the incredible power and authority we have as Christians? If they don’t, maybe we should ask ourselves: are our lives reflecting the life of Christ? Once we start teaching, speaking, loving, living with the power given to us as Christians, I truly believe that Jesus will be able to teach, speak, love, and live through us in ways we never thought possible.

Scriptures to reflect on: Ephesians 1:19-20, James 5:16, Matthew 7:28-29

Song to encourage: “In Christ Alone (Live)” by Civil Parrish